With the highest freshman election voter turnout in the last four years, 57.49 percent of the class of 2017 voted yesterday and elected Phoebe Galt ’17 as president of the class of 2017.
“I’m still kind of shaking,” Galt said. “I feel relieved and very happy.”
Kelvin Abrowka-Johnson ’17, Jacqueline Zhang ’17, Shannon Caietti ’17 and Emily Thomas ’17 won senator seats. Emily Heath ’17 won class secretary, Giorgio Caterini ’17 won class treasurer, John Yoest ’17 won vice president of Advocacy, and Eboni Brown ’17 won vice president of Social Affairs. Matt Ernesto ’14 won vice president of Social Affairs for the senior class.
Galt won the presidency with 264 votes, or 31 percent of the vote. Augustine Haam ’17 came in second, with 209 votes, at 25 percent.
Galt’s campaign focused around six words: open, honest, committed, organized, vivacious and ready. Galt put photographs of these words on a Facebook page and used posters to publicize her bid for president. As the only female candidate of the nine presidential hopefuls, some of Galt’s posters featured herself in the one armed flex of Rosie the Riveter.
“Do you see this level of diversity?” Secretary of Diversity Dylan Frendt ’14 said. “I think that it is a strong testament to our freshman class. I am absolutely ecstatic that so many women won.”
Besides running as the solo female presidential candidate, Galt is the only female president elected by freshmen in the past four years. Additionally, Caietti, Thomas and Zhang end the era of this year’s all-male senate.
“My R[esident] A[ssistant] … had told me there was a lot of males,” Thomas said. “I definitely tried to incorporate that into my campaign to get females elected.”
Caietti was unaware that the senate was completely male.
“I’m excited,” Caietti said. “I’m glad that there’s finally some women in leadership.”
Galt, who has moved around throughout her life, calls China home when not attending the College of William and Mary. She said that she appreciates all the support she received.
Galt did not do any additional campaigning since the scheduled election date last Thursday besides talking to people.
“I think the outage may have actually increased voter turnout,” Election Commission Chair Ryan Brophy ’14 said. “We were very pleased.”
From 2010 to 2012, freshman voter turnout has varied from 44.92 to 46.29 percent.
Roughly 20 percent of the senior class voted for the contested vice president of Social Affairs position. Because no one ran for the class of 2014 secretary position, Class President Grace Martini ’14 will appoint a secretary.
“I feel ecstatic,” SA President Chase Koontz ’14 said. “It’s so much fun to see the new members of the Student Assembly, to celebrate with them. They all ran great campaigns.”
The newly elected Undergraduate Council members and senators will attend their first meeting today in Blow Hall at 7 p.m., where they will be inaugurated.